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August 12, 1905


JAMA. 1905;XLV(7):469. doi:10.1001/jama.1905.02510070037011

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In The Spectator for July 27, 1905, Frederick L. Hoffman, the statistician, writes on "The Suicide Record of 1904." He bases his analysis on official returns from 50 American cities reporting 2,927 suicides in 1904. The rate per 100,000 of population is 19.5, which is the highest since 1890, when this annual tabulation was begun and when the rate was 12.0 per 100,000. The increase has been constant, and Hoffman describes it as one of the most dangerous tendencies in modern American life. The detailed results are mystifying, especially as to geographic distribution. San Francisco holds the "bad eminence" of leader in this race, the rate per 100,000 having been 23.7 in 1890, 49.9 in 1900, and 72.6 in 1904. On the other hand, Chicago in 1904 had a fall in mortality from this cause—20.6, as compared with 23.4, the average of the previous decade. Boston and Brooklyn also show

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